Yeah, not sure about putting the P-word out there in the title like that, but I doubt that it will bring too many more crazies to my blog than years of blogging already has. Yes, I’m thinking of you, “blanket bondage” searcher. That’s disturbing.
But really, as much as our culture is clearly obsessed with sex, we’re also equally obsessed with food. Somewhere along the line after “Praise God, the wheat harvest survived the hail storm,” we turned food from being just a necessity to also being a fashion statement, a security blanket, and something to tickle our desired to be entertained.
Since I’ve really tried to make an effort to knock down my food idol, I’ve noticed that I have to watch what I consume. Of course I have to watch what I consume with my mouth, but I also have to watch what I consume with my eyes. On a couple occasions, I’ve had physically turn myself away from an advertisement.
Now that I’m paying attention, I notice just how many advertisements there are for food. Not just on television, though those are the worst, but also on the radio, on billboards, and in front of every other business you drive past. For me, the biggest temptation is the breakfast item that starts with a D and is round. I don’t even want to name it; it’s too tempting.
I’m hoping that these things will be less of a temptation as time goes on. Then again, these food items might always be a struggle for me. I just know I need to take it a day at a time.
As a part of the “baby steps,” I’m seeking accountability and encouragement through a Bible study group at church. We’ll be doing a First Place Bible study. As a part of this, I’ll be held accountable for what I eat and how much I exercise. We even will do a weekly weigh-in.
I’d love to think that I don’t need this, but that’d just be out of the pride of my heart. I do need accountability. Right now, I’m loving going to the pool almost everyday, but in a week or two the honeymoon period will be over and I know I’ll want to slip back into old, lazy habits.
Eating is even worse: I have long since made food an idol.
So, yes, I most definitely can’t go this road alone. I’m thankful for good friends who allow me to talk about these things and will ask me about my progress, but I also need the structure of weekly meetings. I’m excited to get started and take yet again, another baby step!
No, I’m not going back to school. I’ve been out for almost 4 years and while I certainly won’t rule out going back, it’s definitely not on the 5-year plan. Still, this time of year, though a bit arbitrary for the non-student, feels like a fresh start.
I want it to be a fresh start.
I need a fresh start.
So that’s what I’m going to do. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve slowly been focusing on eating better and making some other changes. Nothing huge (yet) but baby steps.
But I’m ready to start making a few strides in the right direction.
Photo by José Goulão
This past weekend, as you know, I headed to the left coast for my cousin’s wedding. I had never been to Seattle, though everyone I know has.
While there, we participated in the classic bridal-shower game: toilet paper brides. Here’s what we came up (our inspiration: bows and more bows), as modeled on my youngest cousin, age 5:
The wedding was good, and it was fun to spend extended time with my extended family, something we rarely get to do as we’re spread coast to coast (though I’m the only one on this coast).
Sunday, my dad and I got to do some exploring in Seattle. I had wanted to visit Pike’s Market, and though my dad has been to Seattle dozens of times, he’d never been.
Once we got there, the first thing I saw was a Turkish restaurant. I had to eat there for lunch and, more importantly, share Turkish cuisine with my dad, otherwise known as the pickiest eater I’ve ever met. I knew if I ordered the right thing, he’d actually like it, as Turkish food is pretty simple: meat, veggies, and bread. For the uninitiated, it’s very similar to Greek.
Can’t you tell he’s humoring me? I’m very thankful to have a dad who will do anything for his daughter!
The verdict was that he ate the chicken, onion,and sauce out of it and actually liked it. He also liked the cheese pide I ordered:
That’s kaşar cheese inside. That and the sesame seeds definitely remind me of Turkey…
Walking through the market, we saw this terrace on a nearby building. This is my aspirations as a plant lady:
When we drove to the other side of the sound, we saw the largest starfish I’ve ever seen (well over a foot long!) in the surprisingly clear water. And this rainbow over Seattle:
I had a great trip. Even the 4 hours I spent in Newark were pleasantly spent reading. This is now my 4th time on the West Coast, and each time I go, I absolutely love it. Just a different attitude than out east, and one that resonates more with me.
When I dyed my hair last week, it started me thinking about how little of my 20s I have left. I don’t mean that in a “poor me” way, but as a motivation to make the most of the days I do have, however many or few I have left on this earth.
That said, I’ve decided to come up with a list of 30 things I want to do before I turn 30 on December 15, 2012. That happens to be 6 days before the “end of the world,” so it’s a good deadline, right?
I have no idea how many of these I’ll actually accomplish. I tried to make them realistic, but I know that when I have a lot of goals, some seem to fall by the wayside. That’s okay…the point is not to be perfect, but to challenge myself in a healthy way.
All that said, these are 30 things I’m working to accomplish before my clock hits “30.”
1. Read the Bible twice through.
The way I read the Bible, I read through different sections at different paces. But I want to read every part at least twice in the next 16 months. Will continue to keep me in the Word, which is a good thing.
2. Memorize Colossians.
I actually want to finish memorizing the disciplined eating questions and verses as well as Romans 6 and 7 before I get to Colossians. So yeah, this is a challenge. Memorizing isn’t hard for me, but it takes dedication and consistency, which I want to work on.
3. Lose 50 pounds.
Okay, this goal sounds HUGE. It is huge. Fifty pounds is a large bag of dog food like those I had to lift too many times as a cashier because some customers insisted on putting them on the belt, though I told them not to.
But, 50 pounds is a pound a week, with about 18 weeks of forgiveness. Incredibly doable if I stick with my eating and exercise regimen.
And yes, I definitely have 50 pounds to lose. In fact, I will still have another 40 on the other side until I get to a healthy weight. Yes, I want to look better (who doesn’t?), but I want my chief motivation to be to better honor God with my life.
4. Save $2,000.
With the move, my emergency savings got cut into a lot. I want to bounce back, for sure. I can’t find security in money, but I do want to use it wisely.
5. Publish The Journal.
It’s still my goal to self-publish my debut novel at the end of this year. Need to get working on editing though, especially if I want to do NaNoWriMo again, which I’m not sure I will this year.
This goal will remain private. I have no problem being open, but there are things that are not wise to talk about in such a public forum.
7. Pay down my student loans to $XX,000.
I really wish I get these down to 4 figures by the end of next year, but it’s not going to happen unless I stumble onto a pile of cash. But I am pushing myself…I really don’t want to be paying them until December 2019 as I’m scheduled to do.
8. Write What about Emotions (working title).
This is a non-fiction book that is in its infancy. When I have a final product with my novel, I want to get back to this project.
9. Read 160 books.
Perhaps not much of stretch, as this is my current pace (actually, I read a bit faster than that, usually). That’s okay…I have to have some super-realistic goals on this list, right?
10. Read 5 classics.
I don’t read these very fast. I almost always enjoy them, but they take a lot of work.
11. Swim a mile (again).
I want to get back in the pool. There’s just something about swimming that I absolutely love. I think this will be a big part of goal #3.
12. Work a polling place during an election.
Actually, this is on my schedule for next month. I’m looking forward to it. I’d totally do it for the experience, but I’ll be thankful for the financial compensation, too.
13. Celebrate our 30th birthdays with Dana.
Not sure what we’ll be doing, but we’ll be doing something, alright.
14. Cut caffeine down to only one Diet Dr Pepper a week.
I had been down to 2-3 a week earlier this summer, but it has creeped back up with the move and the work craziness. I’m working on slowly getting this back down. I like the stuff, but I don’t want to have it all the time.
15. Sell 100 copies of The Journal.
I’m not planning on this being a moneymaker, but it’d be nice to make back the little bit of money I’ve put in it. I have no idea if I’d even sell 100 copies, or if I’m totally low-balling myself.
16. Make an author website.
I hope to have this done soon. I guess that means I have to get started on it, huh?
17. Fast 16 days.
Not in a row, for sure. But I’d like to take a day a month to fast and pray.
18. Pray through Operation World.
I want to pray for every country throughout the next year.
19. Spend time on Yom Kippur fasting, praying, and thinking.
I’m not Jewish, but I do want to take this holiday God gave His people to remember what He has done for me.
20. Decorate my apartment for Christmas.
I’ve slowly been collecting Christmas decorations through the years, but this will the first year that everything will be my own.
21. Meet my niece.
This is kinda a big deal and should happen well before my 30th birthday…
22. Write in my journal 100 times.
That works out to about every 4 or 5 days, which isn’t really a lot. But it’s more than I’ve written in the past year or two. Journaling is a great way for me to process.
23. Make a baby blanket for Bean.
This is a late addition. I just learned how to crochet (well, I learned a simple stitch in college, but didn’t really do much with it). I learned on a whim (because others were doing it), and I’m glad I did, as I really enjoyed it.
24. Have an empty to-read shelf.
I have no idea if this is possible. I don’t necessarily have to read everything on the shelf, but if I choose not to read it, I need to get rid of it.
This would be easier if I didn’t ask for any books for Christmas, but that’s not likely to happen…
25. Write 70 encouraging letters or emails.
I’d actually like to write more, but this is a good goal number.
26. Bake bread.
I’ve been wanting to do this for a while. I do plan on doing this in a bread machine, though.
27. Make my own laundry detergent.
This is slated for whenever I finish my current bottle. It takes a while for a single girl to go through detergent, though…
28. Finish recording the Chronicles of Narnia for my niece.
I’m halfway through The Magician’s Nephew which is going faster than I expected. 6 1/2 books to go…
29. Walk 4 miles on the treadmill.
Not like that’s very far (I’m pretty sure I’ve walked around the streets of Turkey for at least that far), but I’d still like to do it.
30. Read the Qur’an and the Book of Mormon.
They’ve both been sitting on my shelves since college. I started reading the Qur’an this summer, but I’d like to finish both by some time next year.
I’ve mentioned this book twice in the past month. Love to Eat, Hate to Eat is the book that I preferred over the still-good Made to Crave, and is the other book I chose to read based on my desires to really address my food and laziness idols.
Because that’s really what my issues were with diet and exercise. Idols. Or actually they’re only one idol, the idol of pleasure. An idol that I frequently serve when I’m making small decisions, like what to eat or what to do.
Elyse Fitzpatrick does an excellent job of biblically addressing eating issues, no matter what those are for you. Perhaps you struggle like me with overeating. Or perhaps you “hate to eat,” and struggle with anorexic or bulimic tendencies. Whichever is the case for you, Fitzpatrick accurately identifies the root causes of both as matters of sinful hearts.
I’m in the process of memorizing the 12 questions and the corresponding verses found in the book and here. I’ve also posted them on my fridge, so I have no excuse. I may always struggle with these idols, but I’m willing to put in the long-term effort to address them.
While the fruits of the fight shouldn’t be my goal, I’ve already reaped the benefits, feeling better than I have in a long time. My clothes are starting to fall off me, and I can comfortably fit in clothes that once were too tight. Presumably losing weight makes me more attractive to my future husband. My doctor lit up when I visited her last week for a follow-up appointment (I was down about 20 pounds from the last time I visited her). While I was once well on my way towards diabetes and other weight-related issues, I’m now heading in the other direction.
I’m sorry I don’t have more to say other than “read it!” I can’t say anything more than to say that this book (excepting the Holy Spirit and God’s Word) has done the most to help down the right path. And really, that’s a lot to say.
I mentioned last week that this was one of the books I read when I’ve started rethinking my diet and exercise.
For a very long time I’ve been ruled by my desire for food. This is a continuing struggle, a minute-by-minute struggle. I don’t understand it’s power over me, other than that I’ve let it have that power.
In Made to Crave, Lysa Terkeurst makes the valid point that we’re made to desire, to crave. We were designed to desire God, but we seek to fulfill our desires through other means, and for me, that often means food.
I really wish that food was something you could quit. But, since you can’t, I have to figure out what moderation means.
I definitely recommend this book. I think that this was a good approach to overeating issues. There is a book that I like even better on this issue, but I’ll save that review for next week. For a more in-depth review of Made to Crave, check out Carrie’s review.
Last year I started a vegetable garden for the first time in fulfillment of one of the items on my bucket list.
But I knew it was never going to one time thing. In fact, doing it once made me want to garden all the more.
We had some great weather in March, so I considered planting a couple of weeks earlier than I did last year, but I’m glad I didn’t, as we actually had some cool weather at the end of the month. Then April came and all the craziness that came with, so this was the first opportunity to plant, about a month later than I would have wished.
The good thing about that, though, is that I likely won’t have any veggies until after I get back from traveling to Texas and Kansas in June. Hopefully I’ll get to enjoy the first fruits of my labor!
Last year I planted a zucchini (which I never actually ate), a cucumber, a tomato, a bell pepper, and some herbs.
This year, I’m planting:
On the top: cilantro and 2 window boxes of lettuce. On the ground: cucumber (left pot and the 2 front right pots), 3 tomato plants, and a bell pepper plant (peeking out from the back right.
I had already started a dozen cucumber plants from seed a while back. I took them with me when I babysat last month, and the kids loved taking care of them (and did a great job!). I gave them 3 of the seedlings, as I only wanted 9.
Apparently I’m not as nurturing as those children were, because they didn’t thrive in my solo care. the wind knocked down and broke 3 of them. Then a squirrel got to 3 more (apparently they weren’t too tasty, as he left the last 3, which I transplanted. It now looks like I’ll have two crops of cucumber plants, which is fine by me.
I actually hope to grow 9 cucumber plants this year, instead of just one. Last year’s plant produced one cucumber every other week. I want to have at least 4 a week (actually I could eat 1-2 a day, as that ‘s what I did every summer growing up), so I ninetupled it (I’m sure that’s a word…).
I also increased my tomatoes which may seem odd if you know me. I’ve never liked tomatoes and am not a big fan of tomato-based products. But tomatoes are not only the showiest vegetable to grow, they’re good for salsa, something I hope to make a lot of. I’ll even can some if I can. I can eat half a small jar of homemade salsa in one sitting, and it’s good for you.
I’m trying out a new (to me) variety of tomato, the celebrity (the one in the middle). Will be interested in seeing the difference between the celebrity and the 2 big boys.
What I’m most interested in this year is the lettuce. I love a good salad, but lettuce–especially lettuce that tastes good–is expensive. I love the idea of picking fresh lettuce and putting it straight into a salad, so I hope it works out!
Are you gardening this year? What are you planting?